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The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac Series #1)

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac Series #1) - Overall: 3.5★The Scent of Shadows introduces us to multi-billionaire heiress Joanna Archer. We meet her sister Olivia, who is the epitome of the Paris Hilton-type wealthy heiress to the outside world, but she has a big heart and is Joanna's best, and only, friend. While Olivia is loved and pampered by their father, Joanna and he are like oil and water. They tolerate each other, but only just.When Joanna was sixteen, she was assaulted (OF NOTE: the assault and rape are not described in detail), raped and left for dead. She's spent every day since then making herself stronger, so that she can never be taken advantage of ever again. She spends much of her time alone, wandering the streets of the city, taking pictures of the homeless and seedy parts of town. Since her childhood trauma, trying to do the opposite of what she feels happens to most survivors, she never says no when asked out on a date. That's why she ends up on a date with a not-so attractive dude. The date starts out as most do, but then things get weird. She seems to come back to life when her former, childhood sweetheart, now a cop, shows up on the scene of her fight with creepy dude. Their reunion was like CPR for her character. I was shocked when the author makes it so that they cannot should not end up together. Although I guess I shouldn't have been b/c this is not a PNR, it's a dark UF, no HEA here.The night of her birthday, Joanna's world turns upside down and inside out. She's drawn into the world of the light and shadow Zodiac. When I learned that the Zodiac called themselves Super Heroes, I snickered. REALLY? Like in comic books? Yep! They have their own comics! OK?! She has "friends" who help her through the massive learning curve and she does a great job (almost too good considering) adjusting to her "new life".The first 1/3 of the book, I really enjoyed. The second 1/3 was eh. The final 1/3 had me deciding to continue the series, at least through book #2, The Taste of Night. I can definitely understand why some readers' reviews RAVE and some RANT about this one. For now, I'm firmly planted in the middle, neither ranting or raving.